America’s first black president

Kristof, my least favorite Times columnist after all the other Times columnists aside from Paul Krugman, tells the story of his conversation this week with a Chinese woman in Beijing about the fact that America is about to elect Obama to be president.

She: Obama? But he’s the black man, isn’t he?

Me: Yes, exactly.

She: But surely a black man couldn’t become president of the United States?

Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.

She: But president? That’s such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers.

Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs.

She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry?

Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it’ll be because white people voted for him.

[Long pause.]

She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!

Kristof’s point in the column is that the entire world feels the same way, awed and amazed that America can do this, and that it could indicate a return to the kinder, gentler America envisioned by Bush I. The world is ready to breathe a collective sigh of relief. Kristof concludes,

Yet if this election goes as the polls suggest, we may find a path to restore America’s global influence — and thus to achieve some of our international objectives — in part because the world is concluding that Americans can, after all, see beyond a person’s epidermis.

On a related note: This is maybe the best Joe Klein article ever (and he used to be really good back in the 90s, started to suck in the Bush years and has slowly but steadily returned to his senses). It’s about why Obama is going to be America;s first back presidentRead that first page about Obama’s meeting with General Petraeus. I was definitely impressed. The most personal and most interesting piece I’ve read on Obama, and just about any politician.

One reader here said a couple of months ago, “You and I both know America isn’t ready to elect a black man president.” And even today he’s sticking to his guns on that. Sorry “my friends” (as McCain would say), but it’s going to happen and we’d better all get used to it. Read the article, and maybe you’ll feel a little better about him. I know, it’s hard not to be cynical about any politician, especially when we harbor strong feelings about them. All I can say is that’s when we should make an extra effort to see the other side of the story. Because things are never – pardon the expression – so black and white.

Contrary to my “America isn’t ready” friend, I believe the election of our first black president is not only a distinct possibility but an inevitability. (The just-like-us-plain-folks Joe-six-pack lovin’ soccer mom certainly didn’t give his opponent any advantages.)

Sorry if that post sprawled a bit. Long day.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 41 Comments

Is it just me or does that conversation read eerily similar to a China Daily interview with a “foreigner.”

October 23, 2008 @ 11:24 pm | Comment

lol @ Rhys.

you know, when michelle obama said this was the first time she was truly proud of her country, everyone jumped on her.

if obama is elected, i think i’m going to have to echo her statement. on the other hand, i am amazed at the number of people who will vote against him – that number will certainly be at least 10% if not more – because he is black. but perhaps this will be a step in the right direction, a step toward true equality between the races. the only thing missing would be the ability for foreign-born citizens to become president as well.

October 24, 2008 @ 12:47 am | Comment

[...] In Jamaica, they’ve been showing the debates on broadcast TV. The whole world is watching. (via) [...]

October 24, 2008 @ 1:35 am | Pingback

Seems like there are very few countries that would elect or even allow a person from a minority ethnicity (not birth country or heritage)become president. Alberto Fujimori of Peru is an example. Are there any non-Hans in higher ranks (#1-3 spots) in China? Anywhwere else?

People may forget that the U.S. has, for decades, had minority groups represented in power positions — the Supreme Court – going back to Thurgood Marshall, cabinet positions under at least Clinton and Bush II, NSA chief, Attorney General, and Secretaries of State under the current administration. We need more — and more women, in my opinion, but we’ve come a long way as a country since Selma.

October 24, 2008 @ 2:27 am | Comment

Matt,

Josef Stalin was Georgian not Russian.

Adolf Hitler was Austrian not German.

October 24, 2008 @ 2:57 am | Comment

Like I said, not birth country. What’s the ethnic difference with your examples? Those are more country of origin. Minority race is what I am referring to. Both your examples are white dudes with virtually zero or zero ethnic difference, and certainly not ethnic minorities.

October 24, 2008 @ 4:14 am | Comment

Matt, there is always a token woman and symbolic minority in the upper echelons of power in China. The minority figure, however, is usually assigned to head something like the “Ministry of Dance” or the “Department of Colorful Costumes.”
Of course, it is important not to ask for anything too extreme, like allowing a Tibetan to run the Tibetan “Autonomous?” Region. That is left to the “guiding stars” in the so-called Han.

October 24, 2008 @ 6:05 am | Comment

Matt,

Then Tibetans and Han are both East Asian people of the same Mongoloid race.

October 24, 2008 @ 6:32 am | Comment

The US has changed a lot in a relatively short time, race-wise. Still a long way to go Fred, but gimme a break man. Dogs and firehoses are real memories for some people. Probably going to have a black president soon. That’s a quantum leap. In my mind, very few examples of any countries even coming close to current events.

Just slowly turning this over in my pea-brain: I guess there’s really only one race in China, Serve?

October 24, 2008 @ 8:04 am | Comment

By the way — race is a slippery thing, an illusion. Means nothing. Sorry, Math, soon enough we will all look pretty similar.

October 24, 2008 @ 8:12 am | Comment

“Unbelievable! What an amazing country!”

If one day Jessi Jackson or Al Sharpton elected the president, I would agree upon this statement. Obama comes off as white as white lilly.

What makes one minority is not the skin color, or root of ancestors. It’s the culture and religon. In this sense China may very well has a religious dude as the president long before US has an atheist one.

October 24, 2008 @ 10:34 am | Comment

Coldblooded, Obama is still black.

October 24, 2008 @ 10:47 am | Comment

Uhh, it may be too early to write McCain off.

October 24, 2008 @ 10:55 am | Comment

Uhh, no. He cannot win.

October 24, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

@lensovet
“the only thing missing would be the ability for foreign-born citizens to become president as well.”

Arnie Schwarzenegger maybe? ;-)

October 24, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Somewhere in the future, maybe in another dimension, parallel universe.
———–
his conversation this week with a American woman in Washington

She: Mr Lobsang? But he’s the Tibenta man, isn’t he?

Me: Yes, exactly.

She: But surely a Tibetan man couldn’t become prime minister of the PRC?

Me: It looks as if he’ll be elected.

She: But Prime Minister? That’s such an important job! In PRC, I thought Tibetans were monks, janitors and laborers.

Me: No, Tibetans have all kinds of jobs.

She: What do Han people think about that, about getting a Tibetan? Are they upset? Are they angry?

Me: No, of course not! If Mr Lobsan is elected, it’ll be because Han people voted for him.

[Long pause.]

She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!

October 24, 2008 @ 2:23 pm | Comment

@server the people
“Adolf Hitler was Austrian not German”

My German boss told me once as a joke, that Germans were innocent of all those wrongdoings in WWII. It was all an Austrian conspiracy!

Blasted Austrian clicke!

October 24, 2008 @ 2:26 pm | Comment

ecodelta – honestly, i hope so. i know a lot of people oppose this, but i feel like the native-born requirement is one of those things that has lived out its useful purpose. the initial idea behind it was to prevent some crazy brit from becoming president and turning over power to the crown.
given today’s situation, i somehow doubt this could happen. personally, i don’t see how a naturalized citizen is less capable of being president; if anything, they are more capable due to a wider worldview and thus potentially a better ability to communicate with people of other cultures (re: foreign policy).

matt, wow, georgians and russians are now the same ethnicity? please go and inform the current georgian government of this revelation; i’m sure they’d be interested. however, your point in general is taken.

October 24, 2008 @ 2:26 pm | Comment

@coldblooded

“Obama comes off as white as white lilly.”

the “he’s not really black cos he doesn’t x, y, z” argument. what a chamingly reductionist view of people you have.

@richard

i think few americans really understand the sea change in attitudes towards their country that will occur if they elect obama, so am glad to see this post.

October 24, 2008 @ 3:26 pm | Comment

I can’t wait. I just can’t wait.

October 24, 2008 @ 4:23 pm | Comment

Matt,
Remember Vice President (1983-88) Ulanhu (a/k/a Ulanfu)? He was a Mongolian.

October 24, 2008 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

my question isn’t will obama win (he will – all he needs to do is hold kerry’s states and add a couple) is who are the 40% of people who are going to vote for mccain? what is the rock bottom republican support in the us?

October 24, 2008 @ 6:52 pm | Comment

Obama is not president yet. It is going to get really dirty the next two weeks. This week a relative of mine has started sending me emails containing falsehoods and lies about Obama of a racist nature. This relative is an evangelical christian from a state in the mid west area that is predominately white, poor and uneducated. This is the kind of rovian tactics that will employed up until midnight before the election. Below is a copy of the email I received. This stuff will be sent to churches across america via email and fax. I would suspect that a robo call will also be made with a recording of this message from “Huntley Brown”

There is also a picture of a african american man playing a piano attached that I cannot copy here. I have no idea if Huntley Brown is real or not. But the motivation behind this message is to give racists an excuse to feel they are not they are not racists when they do not vote for obama.

——————————————————————————

Subject: Why I can’t vote for Obama

I wanted to send this article from Huntley Brown – a fabulous concert pianist, a man of God and a black man. I appreciate so much his reasoning for not voting for Obama. I would like to see his article published or spread out via Email to as many as possible. It’s good stuff!

Why I Can’t Vote For Obama
By Huntley Brown

Dear Friends, A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it’s worth repeating…

First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.

Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can’t dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.

I can’t vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that’s who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won’t be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior..

In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.

We need to follow Martin Luther King’s words, don’t judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don’t know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)

To beat Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating. There is a reason the homosexual community supports him. There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill. There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion. There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Let’s take a look at the practice he wanted to continue

The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:

A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby’s leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby)
B. The baby’s leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby’s entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby’s skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child’s brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

God help him. There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.

Think about this: You can’t give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.

There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years.

Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright’s sermons. I wonder why now?

Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 – 20 “Go and make disciples of all nations.” This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?

Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a …

1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.

Would you support a President who went to a church like that?

Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama’s former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.

This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can’t be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.

A church can’t have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate.. It does not matter if it’s a white church or a black church it’s still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.

Obama’s former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.

Cone is the man Obama’s mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?

So what does all this mean for the nation?

In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing – judgment.

Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king. First God says in 1 Samuel 8:9 “Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”

Then God says

1 Samuel 8:18 ” When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Here is what we know for sure.

God is not schizophrenic

He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God.

Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.

For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.

I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama’s positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.

Since we know someone’s value system has to be placed on the nation,

1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation.

2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?

Blessings, Huntley Brown

________________________________________

________________________________________
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, or distribution of all or part of the transmitted information is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately by responding to this transmission. Thank you.
________________________________________

October 24, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

This is the second email I received from an evangelical relative. This will be used stealthly in predominately white rural areas. It will be hard for the Obama campaign to counter this when it is distributed via robocall, email and fax to churches in rural america.

Subject: FW: Here comes Hillary…

—– Original Message —–
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:56 AM
Subject: Fw: Lawsuit challenging Obama’s constitutional qualifications for POTUS

Wake up AMERICA !!!!!!

Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:21 PM
Subject: Fwd: Lawsuit challenging Obama’s constitutional qualifications for POTUS

Please take the time to look at this video

There are three requirments listed in the US Constitution that an individual must meet to be POTUS.

****35 years of age*******
*****14 years of residency in the USA*****
A natural born citizen of the USA (proven by a certified birth certificate from any state in the union)

Obama has failed to valid produce a Certificate of Birth. Speculation is that he was born in Kenya as his mother was in Kenya on August 4th. Obama claims that he was born (at one of two hospitals depending on who you talk to) in Hawaii on August the 6th. Obama’s grandmother (currently residing in Kenya) claims to have been present (in Kenya) at Obama’s birth.

If we permit this to happen without verification, it is a violation of the US Constitution.

Phillip Berg, an attorney in Philiadelphia and former DNC chairman of Montgomery County, PA has filed suit in the Philadelphia district court challenging Obama’s eligibility.

This should be front page news…..

:Let’s make it so…
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 11:09:03 PM
Subject: FW: This is a must open!!!!! From Youtube
>
>
>
>
> GET THIS ONE OUT THERE FAST!! BEFORE IT GOES MISSING OFF YOUTUBE. YOU
> WILL NOT HEAR THIS ON ANY OF THE NEWS CHANNELS!! IF YOU CAN’T CLICK ON THE
> LINK, COPY AND PASTE IT INTO YOUR BROWSER!!
>
>
>
> DON’T LET THIS ONE GET AWAY!! WATCH IT AND FORWARD IT. SEND IT TO
> EVERYBODY.
>
>
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyspCRmJv7w
>

October 24, 2008 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

The abortion issue hasn’t had any traction, Lindel. Those who make abortion a litmus test are already in the Palin-McCain camp. But even conservatives are recoiling from the odd couple; America simply does not want another 8 years of the same. And Palin was a godsend for Obama; what it says about McCain’s cynicism and judgment is scary. We’ve heard the abortion arguments, the ACORN nonsense, the gay love affair, the fake birth certificate, the Manchurian Candidate scenario, the madrassa in Kenya – none of it is new, and it’s hard (impossible) to see how at this late date any of those issues can be brought to life with the power required to shift the tidal wave. This is nothing like the Bush-Kerry election, where there was a true sense of “anything can happen” up to the day of the election. This is more reminiscent of the 1996 Clinton-Dole election, where we watched in amazement as Dole’s pathetic campaign just ran out of steam and died.

October 24, 2008 @ 10:23 pm | Comment

Si – many of my friends are voting for McCain, and even I will if I suddenly chicken out on election day. These are rational, educated middle class types. Arguments I have heard range from socialism to higher taxes (some people believe he will raise them), higher spending — yes more than the Republicans, which I also believe and am afraid of — to “taking away our guns”, which was offered by a friend who has no guns (unlike yours truly). Having the same party in power in both the Congress and White House has always been a negative in many people’s minds, due to the lack of checks and balances. And having Pelosi and Reid running things under a Democrat executive scares many, including me. My personal belief is that Obama would be very effective with a balanced-right Congress, like Clinton. Most of the country is center to center-right, imho.

You may disagree, but that’s what’s on many peoples minds where I live and have contact with.

October 24, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

I don’t agree with either email. But there are a lot of white people who have decided to not vote for obama because he is black. They will use these methods to stir up the emotions. Yes the points are not true or accurate. But the purpose is to appeal to the darker side of people when they go to vote and to get them out to vote.

In 2004 I was sent several similarly motivated emails reminding that Iraq was about 911.

There campaign to spread the lies will be stepped up until the election. It will be via anonymous phone calls and emails and faxes.

These tactics worked in 2004. I agree that the majority of the voters see through this and are less inclined to believe these lies, but it will be close. In places like Ohio, PA, WV, OK, NC etc this stuff will be used and it will get more shrill.

My main thought was it would be a mistake for Obama supporters to relax now and take anything for granted. When confronted with these kinds of messages, need to respond respectfully with the facts.

My concern is with the margins and the undecideds. We have no idea what will haved traction in their minds in the final day before the election.

Sunday night before the election is when the RNC likes to make the final anonymous robo calls to appeal to fear and darker emotions.

Unfortunately some of this will work in significant numbers.

I suspect these messages are a sample of what they will use. I do still have hope that most people will ignore these things.

October 24, 2008 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

Matt,
I agree with your thoughts. My main concern is the executive branch. The executive branch really needs to have a house cleaning and the entire bush adminstration thrown out. I can’t see where any federal agency is being managed or lead in any effective way by any of the bush cabinet. Despite what McCain says a lot of the same people will still be running the federal government under his adminstration. The people he does replace will be replaced with people of the same ideological and management philosophy.

I think voting for Obama is the only way to clean the executive house and make the executive branch run in any rational way.

We can fix the legislative branch in 2010. How Obama deals with his own party in the house will be key to his running an effective government. It would be helpful for him if he had some rational fiscally responsibile and conservative republicans to work with. People like Bloomberg. But unfortunately there are not many of those in the house, just a lot of incompetent ideologues like Michelle Bachman from minnesota.

I care less about ideology than about competence and a sense of responsibility.

Congress has not passed an appropriations bills for a long time. The congress is supposed to pass a budget before October 1st. It has been about 10 years since they have done so. They now have the entire government operated under a continuing resolution for half the year. What that means is a government agency has no idea how much money they will receive for the year until the year is half over. Then all of a sudden they get half what they expected or twice as much. It is not a good way to run a railroad. This problem was started by the republicans, but the democrats are carryon the tradition.

One of GW’s final responsibilities is to prepare a budget request for 2010 to give to congress in january 2009. OMB is not doing anything, but sitting around and napping until 11/4, then they will drop this on the new president’s lap.

Obama should veto the first couple of appropriations bills to wake up congress and get them to start taking responibiltiy for balancing the budget.

Something GW never did.

October 24, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

If McCain wins, I will shut down the blog. I just can’t take another 8 years of chronicling the fuck-ups of another Republican regime. Sometimes i think I’d like an excuse to shut down this site anyway, as it’s a humongous time-suck. If the Dems win I won’t be nearly as busy exposing the government’s malfeasances. Or at least not quite as busy. If they somehow manage to lose, I’m pulling the plug.

Funny how the socialist meme has worked with some people, even now as the Bush administration ushers in the most socialist, spread-the-wealth legislation ever conceived in America – spreading our wealth to the money-lenders at the top who drove us into this nightmare. I do want to think most Americans are smarter than that, smart enough to realize that no one, but no one, has spent as fast and loose as the Republicans, ever. Meanwhile, I do think that even if there are a lot of white closet McCain voters out there, it can’t be enough to turn the tide. The polls again show a resurgence of support for Obama, with McCain showing particular vulnerability in states he was counting where’s you have thought were in his pocket:

Obama has lived up to his end of the bargain, winning in essentially every state that borders the Land of Lincoln. In Iowa, which John Kerry lost in 2004, but where Obama’s victory in the state’s January caucuses made his campaign viable, there have been 27 public polls released since the first of the year; Barack Obama has led 26 of them, and was tied with McCain in the other. In Wisconsin, a state that went to Kerry by fewer than 12,000 votes in 2004, Obama has led four of the last five polls by double digits. In Indiana, which hasn’t voted Democratic since 1964, Obama has drawn the race to a dead heat. Missouri was on the verge of losing its bellwether status after John Kerry ceded it by seven points, but is now back in the toss-up column, with some recent polling trending toward Obama.

But John McCain, by contrast, has made little progress in the West beyond his home state of Arizona. He now trails Obama in Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico, all three of which went to George Bush in 2004. In spite of early declarations from his campaign that he would fight for Washington, Oregon, and perhaps even California, he never eroded Obama’s advantage along the Pacific coast, and is no longer trying. Obama has even led in a few polls in Western states as far-flung as North Dakota, Montana, and–before Sarah Palin’s entry into the race-a poll in Alaska. The region that had once appeared to harbor the most potential for McCain might now contain the states that tip the balance of the election toward Obama.

Of course, anything can happen; except McCain winning.

October 24, 2008 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

Good thoughts Lindel.

(oh, I forgot about one ever-present comment about Obama I hear… that’s he’s anti-business, or certainly not pro-business. I generally think that’s true, but he’s not hopeless)

I think you’re right Lindel, that Obama gets in, then the voters take care of Congress in 2010. I hope the new Congress does well and turns it around, but they will very likely do nothing, or pass policies that spend money or do harm. I hope they do something about helping businesses and jobs, especially those in alternative energy. But they’ve done nothing for 2 years, so why hope?

At any rate, watch for the Indian-American (Republican) governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal. If he doesn’t mess up in that state, he will be in good shape to be running for the presidency in 2012 (but more likely in 2016).

October 24, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

I found this article from the BBC interesting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7682876.stm

Also, I’ve read a lot about how many around the world (Muslim, Arab, etc) will have their perceptions of the US challenged by an Obama win. But what – and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility – if he doesn’t win?

October 24, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

Doesn’t win? Don’t be ridiculous! From one of my favorite blogs, and one that was not enthusiastic about Obama:

Most of Obama’s supporters are voting for him because they hate the failed policies of the past 8 years and want change. If those were the only issues, it would be a close race. But Obama will win this election because of the many voters outside the core Democratic base who cannot accept the idea of Sarah Palin being so close to the Presidency.

In addition to her lack of qualifications, there’s the rejection of her ties to the radical right and religious fundamentalism.

Turnout will be enormous because two factors are at work: Support for Obama and opposition to Palin.

Sarah Palin will cost John McCain the presidency. She is his insurmountable problem. He has no one to blame but himself and his advisers. He chose Palin in a desperate Hail Mary pass to save his fledgling campaign and it didn’t work. Not with women who formerly supported Hillary, not with Independents and not even with leaders of his own party like Colin Powell.

Sarah Palin is the train wreck the McCain campaign didn’t see coming. The rest of the country can’t take its eyes away, which is why stories about her are number one on so many news sites and why SNL’s ratings are sky high.

Nothing shows John McCain’s lack of judgment and ill-suitedness to lead our country more than his spectacular blunder in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. It’s the prime reason that on November 4, voters other than true Obama supporters — those that might have voted for McCain — will run in the other direction.

Great, great post.

That BBC post linked before this comment, by the way, seemed determine to make America look like a nation of white trash hillbillies. While there are plenty of white trash hillbillies, Obama is still polling quite well in the state they’re talking from, Pennsylvania. How did they find so many racist, low-IQ jackasses to interview? It’ almost as if they were looking for the most small-minded, closed-minded racists they could find. I am not convinced it’s a representative sampling of America.

October 25, 2008 @ 12:14 am | Comment

Palin is a negative, but what did JM in was the economic crisis. For me, his thoughts and actions on it, leading up to it and during the early days of it, showed questionable judgement. My opinion is that JM could have squeaked it out — possibly — if not for the economic crisis. Bad economic times, people will go for the new guy. Carter got in like that, so did Reagan, so did Clinton (well, Clinton got in because Perot siphoned off 17% of the vote in the independent race).

October 25, 2008 @ 1:23 am | Comment

Richard, Kristoff is your “least favorite NYT columnist, after Krugman”?

There is a typo somewhere in here, surely! You gotta love the Krug!

October 25, 2008 @ 6:36 am | Comment

I do love Krugman, of course. I meant to convey that all the NYT columnists currently are pretty bad, aside from Paul Krugman.

October 25, 2008 @ 9:47 am | Comment

Richard, are you suggesting (gasp) bias in the BBC…?
:)

At this stage, a McCain win might be unlikely, or even extremely unlikely, but I would not go so far as to call it ridiculous…

October 26, 2008 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

[...] a Chinese woman thinks about the possibility of a black president in [...]

October 27, 2008 @ 2:56 am | Pingback

Obama is not black, he is mixed race. And because he has Arab ancestry, more of his great grandparents are Caucasian then any other race.

November 3, 2008 @ 1:27 pm | Comment

Okay, good to know Obama isn’t black. What constitutes his “Arab” ancestry, by the way? I had never heard this before.

November 3, 2008 @ 1:43 pm | Comment

His father is part Arab by decent.

November 3, 2008 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

black or white it make no difference we are humans.

November 7, 2008 @ 11:44 pm | Comment

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